European Handball Championship: Croatia Defeats Belarus for First Match of Second Round

Daniela Rogulj

A crucial win for Croatia in the first game of round two in the European Handball Championship. 

Croatia and Belarus met at Zagreb Arena tonight for the first match of Group I of the European Handball Championship.

Just two days after finishing the games in the group stage of the European Handball Championship in Split, the second stage of the competition kicked off in Zagreb with two groups of six teams. Croatia played their first game of the new group tonight against Belarus, which will be followed by a game against Norway on Saturday and France on Wednesday (all at 20:30).

Croatia started off the game strong with a 2:0 lead, and by the fifth minute, after a fast break by Manuel Štrlek and a goal by Musa, Croatia lead 4:1. By the tenth minute, Croatia was up by two, and in the 24th minute, with the help of Stepančić, Croatia was up by five points for 13:8. At halftime, Croatia led the game 15:12 with top scorers Luka Stepančić and Andrei Yurynok each with four goals. 

The first four minutes of the second half, Croatia and Belarus maintained the same score, and it wasn’t until the 38th minute that Croatia led 16:14 in the 38th minute. In the 43rd minute, Horvat helped Croatia strengthen their lead to 19:15. 

While Belarus worked hard to catch up to Croatia, our Cowboys led 19:16 to begin the final quarter of the game. In the 54th minute, Belarus closed Croatia’s lead to 23:21. And by the 56th minute, Croatia only led by one goal (23:22). After Belarus tied moments later, Croatia coach Lino Červar called for a crucial timeout. 

In the 59th minute, Luka Cindrić saved the day with an imperative goal for Croatia to bring the lead to 24:23. Belarus called a timeout with just over 30 seconds on the clock. 

In a nail-biting finish, Croatia managed to secure a 25:23 win with a goal by Koplja. Croatia claimed victory over Belarus. 

Source: Croatian Handball Federation Twitter 


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